Author: My first entry into the realm of the wild failed. Before the circle of young naturalists at the Moscow Zoo had to go through the city, so I went to the aircraft modeling circle. Feeders tits, made from the milk package, occupied a much less attractive sparrows. And with great difficulty vyproshennaya parents dog - collie - at the first exit to the country proved to be not a wolf Winnipeg and durakovatym citizen. The dog fell off a cliff into the river and tried to fight the cow and ends lost in the woods, once we were in it. Disappointed with the dog, I forgot his dream of becoming a zoologist. But last fall when I was offered to work the keeper (working for the care of animals) in the department of elephants and hippos, I agreed immediately - after all it is necessary to check whether I was right to choose a profession, becoming a journalist.
It is estimated that at the beginning of the last century in South and Southeast Asia, there were about 1 million elephants. Today eksperttsy Fund EleAid in this region account for about 52 thousand. Wild elephants and 15 thousand. Tamed. More about 1,000 animals live in zoos around the world. The sharp decline in the population due to the population explosion in the region, because of which is steadily decreasing forest area. In India, people in collisions with wild giant mammals die each year about 300 people.
It was opened in 1896 in the city center near the University. During World War II the zoo pavilions have been hit hard, and almost all the animals were killed - the occupation survived only 4 bears, wolves and monkeys 5 (and the three rhesus monkeys locals two years hid in the house next door). Now in the zoo contains 388 species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, including 103 rare and protected - for example, the Amur tiger, Amur leopard and Asian elephant. For comparison, in the Berlin Zoo with the largest collection of the world's 1,500 species found in Moscow - 1131 views. The zoo - 22 hectares.
No, not that should smell a childhood dream. From the aroma of manure watery eyes. In the dimly lit room with a shabby five-meter ceilings, hot and humid. Elephant Tandy extends towards me and trunk noise draws air. Officer Yuri explains that elephants nose better than the dogs, and they breath define each other health and mood. Man for them, too, like an open book, and I'm not uncomfortable with the fact that Tandy now knows everything about me. Immediately reminded of safety training. I think, over tea in the office of the deputy director of I'm too serious attitude to information that elephants are extremely unpredictable and therefore close their aviary is necessary to be constantly on the alert. When they told me that they throw various objects, as well as their own feces, I even laughed.
In the trunk of the elephant 40 thousand. Muscles and tendons, by which it can perform complex movements with a jeweler's for a colossus accuracy. For example, to pick up from the floor the match. And Tandy with his "handler" can lift a weight of 250-300 kg. When she grabbed my hand trunk, then I get out I can not. On their own elephant I hardly let go - she had a little fun at the zoo, and reliable means to get the elephant to throw no new toy.
It turns out you can not tame the giant mammal to the end, we did it with a dog or a cow. Full control of the elephant can be obtained only by breaking it will brutal beatings - Asian elephants who entertain tourists and are used in the national economy, are trained in this way.
In zoos Proboscidea teach humanity - through "positive reinforcement" in the form of apples and bananas. But even experienced keepers do not go to the elephant in the paddock without special needs. And I thought I'd be scratching behind the ear nosed mop.
In Kharkiv zoo live two Asian Elephant - female and male Aung Tandy. Asian elephant African elephant against most of the autumn and spring, and they spend the winter in the indoor the elephant. It is now we are. Elongated enclosure area of about 200 square meters. m separated from the rest of the space lattice of the vertical metal beams, between which can pass people, but squeezes the head of an elephant. The same technology made partitions that divide the enclosure itself into three parts. Males and females are kept separately to hefty Aung crippled small compared to him Tandy (five versus three tonnes). However, they still are close by, in the neighboring paddock, and I behave peacefully, and sometimes quite gently probe each other's trunks through the bars. But I do not trust outward appearances elephant friendly - it seems to me that they try on as handier to strangle each other.